Thursday, February 24, 2011

The price of beauty

British women spend an average of £133,575 (£2,055 per year) on their appearance during their lifetime; while men on average spend a £75,030.

The survey carried out by QVC channel, also revealed that the average annual spend:-

    - £717 on body maintenance
    - £405 on their hair
    - £289 a year on their skin

   - £ £543 on body maintenance
   - £179 on their hair
   - £220 a year on their skin

56 per cent of women prefer to spend money on their face rather then on their body. Conversely, men 63 per cent of men felt that it was more important to have a good body rather than an attractive face.

Sue Leeson, from QVC advised, "Rather than trying out faddy 'miracle' treatments, invest in a beauty regime you can really stick to and get results with".


Monday, February 21, 2011

Boys, men and body image

At a recent body image workshop that we delivered to a mixed group of year 10's, one thing became very apparent. Boys are just as concerned about their appearance as girls. In our experience, it is often the boys who get most involved, answering questions and asking many of their own.

Men have also shown keen interest in many of our body image discussions, both formal and informal.  This fact is rather unsurprising; they have wives, daughters, sisters and mothers, whose welfare are of prime concern.  

This being that case, it's logical to assume that men, who incidentally run most of the beauty, fashion, music and media agencies would attempt to bring about positive body image related change from the top down and from the bottom up.

Sadly, I have not seen many men in the support groups or campaigns that we have investigated.  Real change will not happen until men start supporting the women in their lives and more importantly begin playing an active role in bringing about society wide change. 

Woman will not be able to do it alone.


Friday, February 18, 2011

"Don't judge me"

My favourite quote from the first three episodes of Channel 4's Beast and the Beast - Ugly Face of Prejudice, comes from Susan Campbell Duncan in episode 2.

"People make this assumption about what I should be. That I should be someone that hides away in the house and only comes out at night. Yet nothing could be further from the truth about me ... and I often think that by simply going about my life, I'm putting a message out to people".

"I'm saying don't judge me.... don't stereotype me ... you don't know me".


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Erin O’Connor talks fashion

Hats of to Model Erin O’Connor, who has publically commented on the fashion industries use of young, thin models and airbrushed images.  Erin is a model and her job is to showcase and sell clothes. Her comments thus takes on greater significance when you realise that they could have a negative impact on her future career prospects.

“I’m a fashion model and I don’t fit into the sample sizes. I haven’t for some time,” O’Connor told the Guardian. “At one show I couldn’t get into the trousers. The designer said, ‘What happened to you?’ I replied, ‘Why don’t you make your trousers bigger?’.

The reality is that the majority of models are ages 16 to 19, she added, and “as an industry we have to take responsibility for them.” The problem might be, she continued, that “fashion is built on perpetuating fantasy.” Yet that fantasy has become a “uniformity” in appearance. “We have forgotten how to be individuals”.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Own worst enemy

In a recent body image survey carried out by Glamour magazine, 300 women of all shapes and sizes were asked to "note every negative or anxious thought they had about their bodies over the course of one full day."

Sadly, the results revealed that 97% of women confessed to having at least one self-critical moment. Their negative thoughts included:

"You look like an Oompa-Loompa".

"Don’t eat that, you could probably use an eating disorder."

“You are a fat, worthless pig."

 "You’re too thin - no man is ever going to want you"  .....

On the surfaced some of the comments are humorous. However the majority are rather sad. Ann Kearney-Cook psychologist who was part of the survey team explained. "It’s actually more acceptable to insult your body than to praise it."

Come on ladies. It's time we became our bodies best friend rather than it's worst enemy.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tragic death after buttocks Injection

Police in the US are investigating the death of 20 year old Claudia Adusei Claudia, from Hackney East London, who tragically died yesterday. She died after having silicone injections into her buttocks at a Philadelphia hotel.

Claudia was one of four women who travelled to the States at the weekend.  On Monday afternoon Adusei had the risky cosmetic procedure at a Hampton Inn.  She had two injections of silicone into her buttocks by, it is strongly believed, unlicensed practitioners.

A preliminary medical examination revealed that the silicone went into her central vascular system, ultimately stopping her heart. A second member of the foursome, who also received an injection is believed to be unharmed.

Talent scout Tee Ali said: "She was a dancer and choreographer. She loved to dance and had a drive to be famous. The problem was she didn't have no butt, and she wanted a butt....."It's such a shame. She's a victim of all these girls trying to be perfect. She thought if she had a big booty she would have been in better videos and been more famous."

It's heartbreaking to think of Claudia and her girlfriends excitedly planning their surgical excursion to US, with dream of achieving fame and fortune at the end of it. Sadly, things went seriously wrong.

In this instance, it clear that the common dream of achieving celebrity status through surgery, came at too high a price.

We send our condolences to Claudia Adusei's family and friends.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The ugly face of prejudice

Channel 4's new six part series Beauty and the beast -The ugly face of prejudice explores the modern preoccupation with appearance.

The programme featured  a 'beast' in the form of Adam Pearson. Adam whose face is severely disfigured by neurofibromatosis has spent the last four years campaigning against the issue of looks based prejudice.  "Lots of worlds exclude people like me", he stated. "To fashion, advertising and celebrity I'm simply invisible. They don't hear me or see me ... I simply don't exist".

Adam took his concerns to Tiger Savage an advertising executive. "Perfection sells," came the simple succinct response. "Everyone wants to be somewhere else; be somewhere beautiful and look at beautiful people".  

Read Article


Friday, February 04, 2011

Tesco beauty

Tesco has opened two trial in-store beauty salons under the name 'Your Beauty Salon' in their Leicester and Chesterfield superstores. They plan to open another 70 in-store beauty salons by the end of 2011.

Budget bikini and leg waxes, manicures, eyebrow threading, a cut and blow dry, hair colouring ..... will all be available with your weekly shop.

The beauty market in the UK is estimated to be worth approximately £5 billion a year. Tesco are hoping for a £15 million a year slice of the beauty treatment pie.

“The beauty market is a huge opportunity. We are testing customer responses to beauty services such as threading and nail treatments,” said a Tesco spokesperson.

However, the Daily Mail has reported that retail expert Neil Saunders (Verdict) is unconvinced that the new venture will work. "People want to feel relaxed and pampered when having their hair or nails done", he said. "This isn't the case when you are rushing around Tesco.... A value haircut might be appealing to some, but most people want to feel special. They don't want to tell people they got their hair or nails done at Tesco".

I know several independent beauty/hair small business owners. I hope they will be able to coexist with Tesco and continue to run successful businesses. My fear is that they will be adversely impacted, like so many other small business owners, when forced to go head-to-head with the retail giant.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

£1,000 "fat tax"

Town hall leaders in Oldham, are contemplating applying an additional tax on fast food outlets like chip shops,  kebab shops and chains like McDonald's, before allowing them to open.  There may be exemptions for healthy outlets that are able to prove that the food/drinks they serve are healthy e.g. smoothie bars. 

Monies collected will be ploughed into healthy-eating campaigns and other council services such as removing litter.   Oldham councillors say they started thinking about the new tax after discovering that nearly one in five children aged 10 to 11 in the borough are obese.  

The plan will go to the council today. A Town Hall source said: "We will be doing everything in our powers to make sure it goes through and are confident that it will."  Plans to limit the concentration of takeaways in town centres will also be debated.   Other councils e.g. Greater Manchester will  monitor the scheme closely, prior to drawing up their own plans to combat the obesity problem.

It sounds more like an attempt to increase the income of cash strapped councils, rather then a serious attempt to reduce obesity levels.